Nate and I played this together, what a great event. Nate said, and I agree, that this was one of the most fun tournaments he’s ever played.
There was such a great mix of types of teams! Of course in some cases it was just a few great players who happened to be friends playing together, but lots of people were playing with family members (George Danzer, his girlfriend, and his father were at our table for a while!), and in perhaps my favorite story from the event, Niall Farell, who lost heads up to Safiya Umerova in the $1500 no-limit shootout, tweeted “If you can’t beat them…” along with a picture of a registration receipt for a Niall/Safiya team for this event!
I wouldn’t be surprised if, for many of these teams, this was the only WSOP event they played, which means that the event was also successful in bringing in new players. There was a lot of joking and speculation about whether the event wouldn’t ruin friendships or even marriages (someone tweeted that he hoped it wouldn’t be the end of the podcast!), but from what I observed, everyone, from the most recreational players to the most serious pros, seemed to be having fun.
My girlfriend raised an interesting point that hadn’t really occurred to me: this event gives recreational players the opportunity to enter a WSOP event for less even than the $500 Colossus. Ordinarily, if four friends wanted to pool their money to enter a $1000 WSOP event, only one of them could actually play, and although this does happen, it’s surely a bit disappointing for the other three. The team event enabled all four to get a taste of the WSOP experience for a cheaper price than they could anywhere else.
You might think that because it’s a bracelet event and there are also a lot of grinders taking it very seriously, that might ruin the fun for the amateurs, but that doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t imagine those folks enter an event like this thinking they are favorites to win it. In many cases, I imagine they want the full WSOP experience, they want a taste of the competitiveness and the famous pros as well as the kids in sunglasses and hoodies, etc.
All in all, it seemed a resounding success to me, and I can’t wait to play it again next year. My only regret relates to Tommy Angelo’s famous proclamation that the pleasure:pain ratio is all out of whack in a poker tournament. I misplayed two hands that resulted in our elimination, and I can say that it hurts a LOT more knowing that your mistakes brought an end to the fun for you and your friend.
Sorry Nate! Thanks for playing with me, and we’ll get them next year!